Breaking Britain: Scotland’s choice

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Above: Scotland’s Future launch. Photo: Scottish Government

Fifty years ago, the idea that Scotland would leave the United Kingdom would have been almost impossible to imagine. But this week the Scottish Government launched a white paper, Scotland’s Future, setting out the case for just that in next year’s independence referendum.

For a party proclaiming the case for divorce, the SNP seem curiously keen on many aspects of the United Kingdom. The Queen would still be head of state. The pound sterling would still be Scotland’s currency. And the white paper even reassures Scots that they’d still enjoy Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing and CBeebies – even though the BBC would be replaced by a Scots equivalent. Heaven help us if Waybuloo is the only thing holding back the break up of Britain.

As many have said, it’s far from certain if the remaining UK countries would allow all this to happen. But it’s a clever ploy by Alex Salmond to suggest Scotland can have it all outside the union.

Scotland is, of course, right to decide its future. The fact the vote is even happening is an indictment of the failures of successive Westminster governments to govern for the whole of these islands. As I wrote a year ago, there are echoes here of the way British malevolence and incompetence led Ireland to independence rather than home rule.

I still hope that Scotland chooses to help us reshape Britain, rather than break it. Scotland has played a hugely important part in our nation’s history. It, like Wales, has shown that we can enjoy multiple identities: Scottish/Welsh and British. That diversity is a great model for life in these islands. It would be a great shame to diminish Celtic influence in Britain.

3 thoughts on “Breaking Britain: Scotland’s choice

  1. Good food for thought, I’m originally English but currently live in Scotland. I think that Scottish independence is something that will at some point happen, unfortunately, for Alex Salmond I believe that this is some form of branding exercise and he would much rather be known in years to come as the man who pushed Scottish Independence, rather than the man who secured the prosperity of the nation.

    You can find my thoughts on the referendum here; http://rubenmbell.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/scottish-interdependence/

  2. There’s a long way to go yet. The No campaign has nothing positive to say. At no time has anyone from the NO campaign said anything other than fear mongering. For me I can’t understand why the English don’t want independence. Why carry Scotland if we cost you money?

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